Paymaster Magazine
To Cloud or To Desktop

To Cloud, or to Desktop?

Author: Ian Hurst — Managing Director, Paymaster People Solutions

To Cloud, or to Desktop — that seems to be the question? To me this is a no-brainer. Why would you invest lots of money on an HR software product that you are guaranteed to be using for the next five years, despite knowing that HR software technologies are always evolving, seemingly resulting in ‘the whole world’ migrating towards Cloud-based HR software usage.

Desktop computerIs desktop HR software truly more cost effective?

It may seem apparent that desktop HR software is cheaper, but then you have to deal with:

  1. Possible multiple databases when you duplicate a software installation owing to working on two different sets of computers (e.g. on your laptop, and on your desktop).
  2. Being responsible for managing your own backups (whether on your local computer, or on your cloud-storage).
  3. Being responsible for managing your own cyber-security.
  4. Being responsible for managing your own software upgrades.
  5. Having to wait for a specialised software consultant to visit your premises (in the event of an inevitable support call).
  6. Being desk-bound in order to perform certain application-specific reports, tasks and functions.
  7. Yourself being the only employee who can work on the software at a given point in time (unless it resides on a company server) — in which case, you would still be required to ‘map the drives’, and/or create a virtual private network (VPN) giving access to other employees.
  8. Inadequate (or no) mobile access via your tablet and/or smartphone.

What are the advantages of Cloud-based HR software?

Consider the advantages of a cloud-based set of HR software solutions:

  1. All users would normally work on the same database — no duplications, no database conflicts.
  2. All software and data backups are undertaken by the software supplier.
  3. Cyber-security is managed by the software supplier, inclusive of only the very best in and device-to-server security encryption protocols being adhered to.
  4. The software supplier manages all software upgrades — you always have the latest version of the software to work with.
  5. Support consultants work online to remedy support-related issues with you, when it best-suits you to do so.
  6. You can easily work from any location or device that you choose — end-user device and geographic location flexibility at its optimum.
  7. All approved employees can access the software from any location or device — in employee self-service mode or manager mode.
  8. Any device allows you access.

To Cloud or To DesktopAsk yourself the Primary Question…

The primary question is this: is it wise to continue processing your payroll, and managing your HR processes, on HR software that is fast-becoming obsolete? Similarly, is it wise to procure desktop software that is becoming increasingly more difficult to integrate into newer, cutting-edge applications that automate routine HR and payroll tasks?

Examples of progressive Cloud-based HR software

To illustrate the progressiveness of current Cloud-based HR software, let’s consider time and attendance software applications: nowadays this category of software has migrated towards Cloud-based platforms that include cutting-edge integration with mobile phone devices for GPS location-tracking — an absolute must when employees work remotely at different geographic locations. For example, this is particularly useful with employees working in in the engineering and construction industries.

Similarly, nowadays online recruitment HR software has the added capacity to allow multiple users (i.e. for mangers within an organisation) to access the same job-seeker candidate profile, thereby facilitating an easy (almost seamless) decision-making process when deciding upon the final (‘agreed-upon-by-all’) successful applicant to be appointed.

Further illustrations of the progressiveness of current Cloud-based HR software are many: for example, the Cloud-based payroll systems that allow employees in an organisation to access a self-service mode (where they can extract or input their own data), or the online manager’s mode that gives multiple management members access to reporting functionality of the HR software.

The there’s also online Cloud-based functionality that allows for employee performance appraisals to be managed — a brilliant performance management tracking system that is assured to keep your employees motivated and performance oriented. And then, lastly, there’s also online Cloud-based functionality for online employee training and short courses  — now employees can learn from the comfort of their office or at home.

To Cloud or To DesktopThe ‘new way’: now is truly the right time to migrate to the Cloud

To conclude: now that you’ve got more to think about in this regard, is it not time for you to (prudently) think about the next five years?  Do you really wish to invest in an HR software solution that you know is being phased-out as more and more suppliers migrate their HR software products to the Cloud?

In short, at Paymaster People Solutions we’ve already contended with the opening question to this article: namely, whether “To Cloud, or to Desktop?” For us, it was a no-brainer really. Consequently, everything we now do is ‘in the Cloud’. I believe that that is the ‘New (preferred) Way’ for all human resources and payroll departments. It makes the most prudent business-sense too.

Closing question: if you are not ‘in the Cloud’, perhaps you should be talking to us today?


Paymaster People Solutions (Pty) Ltd is a subsidiary of Grant Thornton Advisory Services Cape (Pty) Ltd
Grant Thornton Advisory Services Cape (Pty) Ltd is a member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd

Copyright 2016 Paymaster – Online Payroll Solutions | All Rights Reserved

Adrian Baillie-Stewart

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